Colgate University is an inaugural member of a new consortium of liberal arts colleges and universities geared toward finding creative solutions for addressing issues of racial equity and diversity on campus.
The Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance was launched Nov. 9 by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, whose mission is to illuminate, disrupt, and dismantle racism in all its forms.
Member colleges will have access to special campus surveys and data as well as monthly virtual sessions for faculty and staff seeking to learn more about antiracisim and diversity efforts. The alliance will host quarterly meetings for member presidents to discuss issues of racial equity in higher education and to seek best practices for creating new initiatives and programming.
“Liberal arts colleges and universities are experts at bringing together many voices and experiences to formulate creative approaches to complex issues,” said Colgate President Brian W. Casey. “I look forward to learning what other alliance schools have been doing on their campuses, and I will be sharing the progress Colgate has made as we continue the work of fostering a more inclusive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”
Beginning in January 2021, the center will host a dozen eConvenings, each on a particular aspect of racial equity. These live, synchronous professional learning experiences will be held virtually throughout the year, one per month. Three-hour learning sessions, each on a different topic, will be delivered by highly respected leaders of national higher education associations, tenured professors who study race relations and people of color, chief diversity officers, and other experienced administrators.
Member schools will be part of climate surveys for staff, faculty, and students related to topics of racial equity, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and perceptions of how colleges respond to difficult incidents. The center is also developing an online repository of resources and tools for alliance member colleges. Downloadable equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, and slide decks will be included in the portal. Every employee at each alliance-member college will have 24/7 full access to the virtual resource portal.
Other schools that have signed on to this initiative include: Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Colby College, DePauw University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Lafayette College, Skidmore College, Union College, and Williams College.